Economic news from Marbella—good or bad? | Dafacto

The personal website of Matt Henderson.

Economic news from Marbella—good or bad?

28 January 2013

Our office is located in the “industrial” side of Marbella; an area which is separated into two distinct “zones”, divided by the main road that runs through town. We’re located in the “lower” zone, between the main road and the beach. The majority of businesses are located on the other side of the road in the “upper” zone.

A few years back, property owners here were informed by the town hall that the city of Marbella had reached an agreement with a foreign investor to build a new mega port—capable of hosting huge cruise ships—right here in the lower part of the industrial zone. (Here’s a YouTube video of how the massive project was envisioned. Notice that the most common car here in the future will be Ferraris!)

Clearly, this was great economic news for the city of Marbella, and potentially great economic news for us real estate owners, depending how we would be compensated for our properties.

During the next few years, as expected, there was very little buying, selling or serious renovation of any of the commercial buildings in this area, given the knowledge that at some point in the near future this entire zone would be leveled to make room for the new port.

Recently, though, there’s been rumors of delays in the port project and potential contractual issues with the city. These rumors took on some credibility when I noticed somebody had taken out a new lease on an entire building and completely cleared it out—effectively unifying six independent offices. That somebody turned out to be Peugeot, who decided to move their presence in the “upper” zone to directly across the street here in the “lower” zone.

Here’s a before and after:

Judging by the quality and extent of the build-out work they undertook this was a serious investment for the car company, and so I’m guessing they know something that gives them confidence they’ll be able to stick around for a while.

In a time when positive economic news is extremely rare here in southern Spain, it’s certainly good to see a company like Peugeot make a big investment. On the other hand, this could be bad news in the larger sense that we’re probably unlikely to see a new port in Marbella.

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